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Finished Metal Gear Solid 2

Content of the article: "Finished Metal Gear Solid 2"

I posted about the original MGS the other week so here is my followup post covering MGS 2 which I just finished yesterday. At first I thought I would talk about spoilers in a second half of the post but I think I actually need to replay the whole game to get a better grip on some of the ins and outs of the plot.

I think overall MGS had more to offer in terms of style. Overall I prefer the dark gritty and snowy atmosphere of MGS compared to the brighter and more sterile environments in MGS2. You spend most of the game in a setting where the map is revealed all at once and is very uniformly structured, which takes away the feeling of discovery. That being said, I think the environments are unique and don't remind me of any other game I've played.

I thought the graphics held up pretty well. I upped the resolution in my emulator and thought it looked great that way. The character animation is a big leap forward compared to the first game. I think these games were always known for the high level of graphical polish at the time so it isn't a surprise to see how good it looks compared to other ps2 games.

I really missed the musical themes from MGS in MGS2; Some reviewer mentioned that they might have scrapped the original themes due to allegations of copying. I thought the weapon sounds were kind of wimpy in MGS2, especially when getting shot at by enemies. This might be an odd point, but the game over screen from MGS has got to be one of the coolest game over screens of all time so I was sad to see it go.

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Obviously there were a lot of gameplay improvements in MGS2, in particular the improved movement and inclusion of first person aiming. The added layers of the alert system was great but also so stress inducing that it made me much more committed to never setting them off. One disappointing thing was that I just didn't feel like I ever had to use the majority of the items/weapons you get. Everything felt like it had one specific use case throughout the game and so I never felt like I was making creative choices with them.

The plot is where I think the ante was upped in MGS2. It does a lot of brilliant things building off the plot of the first game while throwing in a bunch of unexpected twists. One thing I liked in MGS was the large number of codec conversations. I felt like MGS2 could have used a little more codec content that wasn't directly tied to informing you of some objective. I didn't feel as motivated to dial random people by codec in MGS2.

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Excited to play MGS3 soon as many of you have said it's your favorite game in the series.


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